Firefox to Block Tracking by Default, ZeroPhone Project Coming Soon, Google Code-in 2018, OpenStack Releases Version 18 «Rocky» and Greg Kroah-Hartman on Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities

News briefs for August 31, 2018.

Mozilla yesterday announced a different approach to anti-tracking on the internet. Mozilla's new approach means that "in the near future, Firefox will—by default—protect users by blocking tracking while also offering a clear set of controls to give our users more choice over what information they share with sites." In order to accomplish this, Mozilla has three key initiatives: improve page load performance, remove cross-site tracking and mitigate harmful practices.

ZeroPhone, an "open-source Linux-powered $50 smartphone, is being launched on Crowd Supply. The project is coming soon, and according to its description, "It has no carrier locks, bloated apps, or data mining, and it doesn't depend on big companies." In addition, it's based on Raspberry Pi Zero, ESP8266 and Arduino.

Google announces its Google Code-in (GCI) 2018 contest. The contest begins October 23, 2018 and ends December 12, 2018, and "students ages 13–17 from around the world can learn about open source development by working on real open source projects, with mentorship from active developers." See the Google Code-in 2018 site for information for both students and mentoring organizations.

OpenStack released Rocky, version 18, of the open-source cloud infrastructure software yesterday. According to the release statement, the two main new features are "refinements to Ironic (the bare metal provisioning service) and fast forward upgrades". In addition, version 18 addresses "new user requirements for hardware accelerators, high availability configurations, serverless capabilities, and edge and internet of things (IoT) use cases".

Greg Kroah-Hartman warned attendees at the Open Source Summit North America about the "the severe impact the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities could have on them, as well as detailed how Linux kernel developers are dealing with the flaws", eWeek reports. He also strongly criticized the way Intel initially handled the disclosure.